Please remove vmbuilder from the archive in 14.04

Bug #1260062 reported by Serge Hallyn on 2013-12-11
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
auto-upgrade-testing (Ubuntu)
Andy Whitcroft
sandbox-upgrader (Ubuntu)
Andy Whitcroft
vm-builder (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

vm-builder is not maintained. Unless someone who has the time and technical ability to maintain the package (in past and current releases) step up, the package should be removed from the archive for 14.04 (LTS).

Stéphane Graber (stgraber) wrote :

The following packages first need fixing or removing before this bug can be processed:
 - ubuntu-virt-mgmt
 - sandbox-upgrader
 - auto-upgrade-tester

Changed in vm-builder (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

ubuntu-virt-mgmt has been fixed; I have open bugs for sandbox-upgrader and auto-upgrade-testing, but they aren't going anywhere; taking a fresh look at whether I can do those myself.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in vm-builder (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Marius Gedminas (mgedmin) wrote :

If ubuntu-vm-builder is to be removed, what would be the suggested replacement? I would like to create Ubuntu virtual machines under libvirt, backed by LVM volumes, preferably from the command line and without using GUI tools like virt-manager?

virt-install is one alternative. Using cloud images with cloud-init is another.

Note that if there is interest by community members in maintaining
vmbuilder, that would be very welcome.

felix (felix-wolfsteller) wrote :

Another promising alternative could be virt-builder (from package libguestfs-tools), but that one is bugged, too (e.g. virt-install is in a totally different class of tools imho, I'd like to setup a vm in one command (more or less).

Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

Note vmbuilder is set to be forked soon so it may have a future after all

Hi Serge,
vmbuilder still is bit-rotting since 2014 when you started to want to remove it.
I was coming to the same conclusion today and then found your bug.
But the same two dependencies (sandbox-upgrader/auto-upgrade-tester) still hold it needed for now.

You said there is might be community activity ahead - any update on that?

I checked how the two dependencies use the vm-builder and since vm-builder has no idea how to handler >=Yakkety both will fail on >=Yakkety.
What does that imply - not used by anybody?

I wait on your update on the potential future of vm-builder, but I lean more and more a second try removing it (and all deps with it as it seems unused).

Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

Hi Christian, is a fork worth looking at. Doesn't seem to be active since they had last contacted me, but they were intending to try and build a community.

Would be worth seeing if they want to become the official new fork.

Hi Vacheslav,
thanks for the info.
I didn't see many commits there, just as on the other forks.
Is there more activity behind the scenes or planned?

And if so - are you willing to maintain that package as Serge said for "past and current releases"?
Because right now it doesn't really work >=Xenial - and to some extend isn't really needed either due to uvtool filling the gap very comfortably.

Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

Note, if someone is willing to commit to maintaining upstream and making sure it runs on the current Ubuntu development release, I'm willing to help out with packaging for SRUs and, if needed, packaging for dev release. But someone else will need to commit to analyzing and fixing most bug reports.

As discussed we are back after some time. Feedback on making one of the forks the new upstream was good, see [1].

In the discussion it came up that the fork [2] is willing to check on issues and provide fixes as good as possible. And recently activity looks good [3].
E.g. bug 994199 got an update and would be fixed.
@Chris and Emilian - as you offered, please continue to pass through the bugs at [4] and update those that you have a fix for in your repo. That way we know what an upload actually addresses.

@Serge - you offered help to upload those to Dev and SRU, would you still be willing to do so?
If so, I think you can now start at any time. Assuming you are still open to do so I'll set this bug here to "Opinion" as we will not remove vmbuilder and will assign bug 994199 to you.

Further on the formerly identified referring packages we have ubuntu-virt-mgmt which was already dropped in Artful. But also we have sandbox-upgrader and auto-upgrade-tester.
Both are broken for quite some time and it seems all former users no more use them. Therefore those shall be removed - they still exist upstream in their old form but have no reason to be carried along in a semi-broken way.
I subscribed ~ubunut-archive so these removals can be considered.

- for that will from now on be considered "the upstream" is [3]
- Serge (hopefully) will upload fixes to Artful and SRU from there
- Archive admins to remove sandbox-upgrader in artful
- Archive admins auto-upgrade-tester in artful


Changed in auto-upgrade-testing (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Changed in sandbox-upgrader (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Changed in vm-builder (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Andy Whitcroft (apw) wrote :

Neither has reverse depends, neither is in debian and both are maintained by us:

  $ reverse-depends src:sandbox-upgrader
  No reverse dependencies found
  $ reverse-depends src:auto-upgrade-testing
  No reverse dependencies found

As both are clearly no longer maintained they are candidates for removal. Therefore:

Removing packages from artful:
        sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful amd64
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful arm64
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful armhf
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful i386
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful ppc64el
                sandbox-upgrader 0.1+bzr20080818-0ubuntu3 in artful s390x
        auto-upgrade-testing 1:0.168build1 in artful
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful amd64
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful arm64
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful armhf
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful i386
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful ppc64el
                auto-upgrade-tester 1:0.168build1 in artful s390x
Comment: No longer maintained (LP: #1260062)
Remove [y|N]? y
2 packages successfully removed.

Changed in auto-upgrade-testing (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Andy Whitcroft (apw)
Changed in sandbox-upgrader (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Andy Whitcroft (apw)
Changed in auto-upgrade-testing (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Changed in sandbox-upgrader (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

Sorry @paelzer,

> @Serge - you offered help to upload those to Dev and SRU, would you still be willing to do so?

Yes. Please either subscribe me to launchpad issues or email my personal email address to ping me. (Until I improve spam handling, I'm afraid my email is devnulled)

Good to know that your ubuntu mail is dead Serge.

Ok so for now we will leave vmbuilder as-is and Serge will take care for it.
If you can't do so anymore let us know that we remove it then (unless someone else stepped up).

As outlined in comment #15 please as you can afford the time try to merge the latest from [1] and consider SRU fixing some of them.


@Serge - it would be great if you could directly subscribe to [1] to be visible as someone who "takes care of it".
I think you might be already indirectly subscribed via the virt groups.


Serge Hallyn (serge-hallyn) wrote :

Ok - I think I just did, but not sure as it doesn't seem to be showing me as subscribed.

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